Lord of the Vampires – Gena Showalter

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Adult – Fantasy/Romance
FORM: eBook – Net Galley
SERIES: Royal House of Shadows

While I was granted permission to read this book by a Net Galley affiliate publisher, Harlequin Nocturne, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: Nicolai has no idea who he is, outside of his name. He knows that his memories have been taken from him, that he is meant to be very powerful, and that he has been a sexual slave to the Princess Laila, and before her Princess Odette. What he does know is that he has a plan. Jane is a human who has been having reoccurring dreams about a vampire who has been taken captive. There is no talking in the dreams, she just sees him bound in chains. She knows that she feels compassion for him, and desires him. Dream becomes a reality when one day Jane receives a book that seems to be written by her captive vampire, and after reading it she finds herself waking up in a castle, and everyone around her believes her to be the Princess Odette. After succeeding in escape, Nicolai and Jane not only try and figure out who Nicolai really is and also do whatever they can to stay out of the grasp of Laila and her guards, but they explore the curious possessive nature each has for the other only to discover that their relationship began earlier than either realized.

REVIEW: This is the first time I’ve come across a Mini-Series where each installment is written by a different author. I’m not sure if there are more like this, but I think it’s a wonderful idea, a great way to read a favorite author or two and perhaps discover others. It all results in more great books to read!

Lord of the Vampires, was a very sexually charged story. Straight from the beginning, Jane and Nicolai exhibited a desire to own and possess one another without reason, even in their own minds. They have no idea that their relationship and attraction for one another had actually developed earlier, as both of their memories have been wiped. The story takes us on an adventure of passion, love and danger. Whether it an evil witch princess, over bearing trolls who have only one thing on their mind (their “little” head), or the sporadic flashing from one place to another that happens every time Nicolai gets a flash of his memory back, he and Jane are constantly battling one issue or another. The story is exactly what you can expect from Gena Showalter. I was a little bit afraid that this was going to be a little too similar to The Vampire’s Bride which was an installment of her Atlantis Series. a few years back. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was nothing like that series. The story line and premise are all its own!

WHAT I LOVED: The entire concept of the series is appealing to me. I’m excited for the other installments. I believe Gena Showalter kicked it off with a bang, and it will be interesting to see how this story will continue to play out.

NOT SO MUCH: I almost felt like there was more sex and sexual tension than there was story. The story that WAS there was excellent, don’t get me wrong, but I think there could have been more. And this is a rare ‘complaint’ (not that it’s really a complaint really), usually what is desired is the opposite, but it just goes to show, the story is very important.


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Lover Unleashed – J.R. Ward

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)
Lover Unleashed
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Adult Romantic Fantasy
My Version: Audiobook

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Pain, daughter of the Blood Letter and the Scribe Virgin and twin sister to Black Dagger Brother, Vishous, has finally been released from the Fade only to acquire an injury that has left her paralyzed. Jane, Vishous’ mate, believes that she knows a surgeon who may just be able to help her. As Pain and her “healer” Manuel become more attached to each other, Vishous and Jane have a different kind of pain that needs healing, and a new threat to the BDB has entered the scene.

Review: I was underwhelmed with this book. I have enjoyed the BDB series since I started reading the books a couple of years ago. I loved the fighting and the banter between the brothers (especially the banter between the brothers!). It was fun, and sad, and romantic, and fierce. I was SOO looking forward to the release of LoverMine last year, mostly because we got to see John Matthew grow from a gangly, awkward teenager, into a man. I just loved his character, and was very excited to read his HEA. I never created this attachment to Pain. Usually, when the books had parts with her, I was thinking “common, let’s get back to the good stuff.” So when I found out that Lover Unleashed was Pain’s book, I honestly wasn’t really all that excited about it outside of the fact that this was a BDB book. That being said, my review is probably a little skewed, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it.

For me, this book was lacking. I felt like there was just so much focus on Vishous and Jane (didn’t they already have their book???) and then of course Pain and Manuel, and not so much on everything else. I mean, Quinn got some time, but the time with him was just so emo-sad that his segments were kind of a downer. There was not a whole lot of fighting going on. The Lessening Society was not around much outside of the mention that they were being recruited in droves. MOST of the brotherhood was even missing. I think my favorite parts of the previous books are when the brothers are all together with their myriad of personalities colliding. They just make me smile. Where was everyone in this book?? I know, I know…there are a LOT of characters – and with the addition of the new threat – even more. J.R. Ward has just set up enough material for several more books. So I will be patient. And I will hope that the next segment will include more brothers, and less wallowing in self pity.

LOVED IT: Butch. He’s an excellent friend through and through!

HATED IT: Um, where are we going with Quinn’s story??? I’m confused.

SONG PLAYING IN MY HEAD: Smashing Pumpkins, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, “Despite all my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage…”

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Shadowfever – Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever (Fever, #5)Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


With momentum that never lets up, Karen Marie Moning takes us on a ride that has highs and lows, but does not disappoint. Finally some answers, thank God this did not end up like the dramatic ending to Lost, where even though you understand the ending, you still have so many questions that may never get answered (or maybe they will – if you participate in all the message boards/chat sessions – which I did not). At this point, if you still have questions – well, you might be a little too involved with the series and need to take a step back and evaluate your life…you know, live the one that is not in the books for a while. 😉

Is it weird to say that I’ve never been so happy to get to the end of a series of books? That seems wrong, doesn’t it? It’s just that…it was so good, and the cliffhanger endings were so killer that…well I’m just happy it’s over. I’m completely satisfied with the ending, and it’s obvious that Karen Marie Moning has some stuff a’brewin in that head of hers, as she’s left much room for more writing.

I recommend this series to everyone I think would like it, but I’m very careful about my recommendations because 1. I don’t like recommending books people won’t like, and 2. Well, in this particular case – it’s just not appropriate for some audiences. There IS a reason why I read a lot of young adult books – I get the fantasy/Sci-Fi genre without all the other stuff. I got hooked on this series 3 or 4 years ago? I can’t remember, but I don’t read a whole lot of adult fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal – because either they edge a little on the side of “way too scary” for me, or over on the erotic side; this one is the latter. So definitely not appropriate for…well anyone who wouldn’t/should do anything rated R. That is my warning, take it for what it’s worth. Outside of that, the writing is excellent, the story will suck you in and swallow you, and the ending has a big …pink…bow on it.

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Wild Blue Under – Judi Fennell

Form: ARC Book
Genre: Adult Fantasy
The underwater kingdom is his as soon as he claims his queen
Rod Tritone has the looks and charm to snag any queen he wants for his Mer kingdom, but unfortunately, it’s not up to him. As fate would have it, the one woman destined to rule with him is terrified of water
She lives in land-locked Kansas and has no idea she’s a princess
Valerie Dumere thinks Rod is gorgeous and irresistible but why does he keep insisting she has another side to herself that only he can show her?
Source: Booksamillion.com
Wild Blue Under is the second of a Mer-human series by Judi Fennell, the first being In Over Her Head. Judi Fennell has created a very imaginative romance series about Mer-humans and a whole new take on the water and animal world around us. There are many books that are based around the mythical City of Atlantis, and the creatures that reside there, most of them have a darker feel about them, more evil; Judi Fennell’s world is like a breath of fresh air, bright and happy despite the danger and suspense. I think that is what appeals to me the most about her books. I love paranormal/fantasy romance novels; I enjoy the dark, aggressive heroes – but the sweet tenderness of Rod’s (and Reel’s) character and the less evil and sinister feel of the books as a whole provides a nice change.
What I liked most about Wild Blue Under is that Valerie and Rod had a chance to develop their relationship. Sure, there was the obvious instant sexual attraction that usually takes place in a romance novel, but they were given a chance to get to know one another. Each talked about their life, growing up, who they were, who they wish they were. It made the relationship between the two more believable. When they finally joined as a couple, they loved each other; it wasn’t merely an attraction.
My least favorite part; all the talking birds. I understand that this is fantasy, and I absolutely 100% agree that in these books anything and everything can happen and is fair game, but the talking birds continued to transform this into a “it could happen” novel to a “this could be a cartoon” novel for me. Most of the time I was just reading and trying to keep the thought that Livingston was just another character in the book, and kept his bird status deep in the back of my head.

Dreamfever – Karen Marie Moning

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Form: Book
Series: Fever Series

He has stolen her past, but Mackayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought – and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as she rallies the sidhe-seers to fight an impossible battle and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth – about herself and about the world she thought she knew.

Source: Book flaps

I have been waiting for a year for this book to come out…and I can tell you I’m almost depressed. Not because the book was bad – not in the slightest – because in classic “Fever Series” methods, Karen Marie Moning left the characters and the story at a very high point. Each of the books in this series do not actually end, they just stop. Right.In.The.Middle.Of.The.Freakin.Story!!!!!! If it wasn’t so good, it would be infuriating!

There were very few questions answered, and many more questions raised. Actually, these books remind me of the show Lost in that way. Mac becomes a much more aggressive, darker Mac – instead of wishing her life were back to normal she is finally embracing who she is and what she does and wants to kick of Fae-butt! She still thinks about the past, but she no longer seems to dwell on it like she was.

This book took her relationship with Jericho Barrons to a new level. Not only does he release her from her Pry-ia status and helps her to find herself again, but though they both fight it, it seems to have opened some additional doors to their relationship. I think Jericho is showing more emotion towards Mackayla, although it seems like he’s fighting what he’s feeling – I think it’s there right under the surface. He cares much more than he wants to. I think his mean comments and biting words are evidence of that. He doesn’t like what she’s making him feel. Seriously, with all the tension, heat and passion the two are throwing at each other, V’lane doesn’t stand a chance.

So…I’m not really telling you much, am I? This series is awesome! It contains Faerie of the deep and evil kind. Even the “good,” or Seelie fae are a bit worrisome in this book. Mackayla is a sidhe-seer, a person (woman) who can see through Faerie glamor. She also has an entire host of other abilities that she’s just getting to know, making her more curious to Jericho and others around her. She’s fighting to get these Fae off her planet, she’s fighting to avenge her sister’s death, she’s fighting to save the planet. If you are a paranormal/fantasy junky (as I am) you would do good to start at the beginning of this series (Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever). There is one more (thank God it’s only ONE) book in the series (Shadowfever), and I simply cannot wait!

Acheron – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Form: Audio Book
Series: Dark Hunter Series
Narrator: Holter Graham

Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. His human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he never wants revealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.
War has never been more deadly… or more fun.

Source: booksamillion.com

One word summary: Heartbreaking
Acheron is actually the first full book that I’ve read/listened to of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s. I read a novelette, trying to start at the beginning, and I’ve tried others, but lost interest within the first chapter. This book defiantly caught and held my attention from beginning to end.
This is not your typical paranormal romance novel. There is so much story here, it just seemed like it was what it was. This was Acheron’s life, not just some story, and let me tell you it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Almost the entire story seemed to have a melancholy feel about it, it wasn’t until the end that any kind of joy seemed to seep through the book. It was very hard to listen to at points, because you are just so broken up because Acheron is broken, over and over again.
In the beginning, you pretty much hate every character, save Acheron and Ryssa, his sister. There is no good to be found in any of them. I was so afraid, even from the beginning when she wasn’t too bad, that Artemis was going to be Acheron’s HEA, that somehow she was going to redeem herself. I couldn’t figure out how in the world Sherrilyn Kenyon was going to make that happen after you become absolutely disgusted with her throughout his childhood. (Also bare in mind, I didn’t get any back-story from previous books) I am so thankful Tory came along. It is also a relief that as the book starts wrapping up, you discover that Acheron actually has friends who care about him, even if he does still feel all alone.
Some of the things I loved: the references to modern media. There are mention of several shows and movies. I loved the reference to Heros the T.V. Show “save the cheerleader, save the planet.” I also enjoyed the caveman commercial reference. Both made me smile. Showing modern times and making said references did not give the book a cheesy feel that I sometimes get with other books I read, and I really appreciate her ability to do that. Sherrilyn throws other bits of humor and fun in with all the grief. Acheron’s sarcasm always made me laugh, even after a beating or being insulted somehow. And then when Tory is able to match his every word with some of her own – they made the perfect match. I enjoyed Acheron’s aching heart for all children. It was a repeated even throughout the book, and I’m glad it remained consistent. I was disappointed when Mia did not end up being the HEA. I was hopeful that somehow this character from his past would be there to rescue and help him in the future. This was prior to me realizing that this book was going to cover the scope of several centuries.
Some things I wasn’t so happy about; there wasn’t much on his discovery that he was a father – that was surprising, but now that I think about it, it’s possible that is included in a different book and I just missed it. I just felt that was actually a bit important, especially to add fuel to the fire of his already growing hatred toward Artemis. The other thing I would have liked to see play out differently was how Acheron told Tory about himself. I wish he would have some how found a way to trust her instead of it being a bit of an accident, alas I suppose the whole point is that he cannot trust, and Tory had to prove herself trustworthy with his mistake. So I can see why it was written that way, it just wasn’t what I wanted to see I guess. The final thing that bothered me was the amount of history verses the amount of time spent in the current. It seemed like with all the focus on Acheron’s childhood, there could have been more about what was happening currently instead of squishing the love story and heroine all in a short amount of pages. I have read other reviews on this book, and I do disagree with others about the character of Tory – I think that she is a good heroine and I understood her back story and how it brought her to the present. I do, however, agree with the reviews about how there wasn’t enough time between Acheron’s attack on her career and them falling for one another. I’ve read many a romance novel, and I’ve felt the chemistry stronger between other couples, and I think time and “pages” of story help with that significantly.
I’ve already added the previous and the next Dark Hunter books to my list. I’m not sure I’ll go back and get all of them, but I am interested in seeing some of the other character’s stories.

30 Nights with a Highland Husband – Melissa Mayhue

Thirty Nights with a Highland HusbandMelissa Mayhue
Genre: Adult Romance
Form: Mass Paperback Book

Scotland, 1272. Connor MacKiernan, a descendant of the Fae Prince, is a warrior who lives only for honor and duty. Though he’s vowed never to marry, that’s exactly what he must do to save his sister. Enter a little Faerie magic, and the search for a bride is on.

Denver, 2007. Caitlyn Coryell is having a really bad day-she just discovered her fiance with another woman! Imagine her surprise when she puts on some sexy lingerie and an antique pendant and Connor appears in her bedroom, begging for her help. He offers a simple yet outrageous adventure: travel to his time, marry him, and return home.

But nothing’s simple when Cate is trapped in the thirteenth century. The wedding’s delayed, someone’s trying to kill her, and in the middle of all this, she realizes she’s falling in love with a man who can only be her husband for thirty nights.

Source: back of book
Highlanders, time travel, and faeries – oh my! Obviously, judging from my blog and previous reading adventures – all things that I enjoy in a book. But really, this was just a normal romantic adventure. Gets your heart thumping – both at the romance and at the danger. I can’t say it was the best or worst book I’ve ever read. Just entertaining.

I do think Melissa Mayhue has the ability to put an entertaining story together – so let’s not downplay that. Her characters were likable and somewhat realistic. I mean – how real can people be who are decedents of Faeries?? So the imagination is needed as well. The only thing that keeps this book from standing out is – I’ve pretty much read it before in another, or a few other books. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really stand out outside of the fact that I do like to read romance novels, and it fulfilled it’s obligation to entertain me in a way that T.V. just does not.

Book Review: In Over Her Head – Judi Fennell

In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Form: Book

Reel Tritone is the rebellious royal second son of the ruler of a vast undersea kingdom. A Merman born with legs instead of a tail, he’s always been fascinated by humans, especially one young women he once saw swimming near his family’s reef…

Ever since the day she swam out too far and heard voices in the water, marina owner Erica Peek won’t go swimming for anything – until she’s forced into the water by a shady ex-boyfriend searching for stolen diamonds and is nearly eaten by a shark. Luckily Reel is nearby to save her, and he discovers she’s the woman he’s been searching for…

Before she knows it, Erica is off with Reel on a series of wild underwater adventures to retrieve stolen treasure, battle the mother of all sea monsters, and defy a death edict from the kingdom’s high council. But even if they get out of their madcap mission alive, how will they find a way to stay together when she hates the water and he can’t survive on land?

Source: Back of Book

In Over Hear Head was very entertaining, and satisfying to the romantic soul. The book is filled with the typical antics of a normal romance book – only 90% of it takes place under water. If you have a good imagination – or you’ve seen The Little Mermaid, this is a very bright and colorful book. If you like romance, and you like fantasy – but not a fan of dark, bad, and scary – this is the book for you!!

The high points of the book – it was fun light-hearted and the characters were easy to enjoy. I am pretty sure I read that this book is the beginning of a series, and I am intrigued to find out what happens next. Some low points would include the author’s use of a famous actor for the description of Reel, the male lead. I don’t like it when authors do that. I’d prefer to have descriptive words and come up with my own image.

Hitting bookshelves June 1st, I do think that if you love to see sparks fly – especially between two unlikely characters – In Over Her Head is your book!

Lover Avenged – J.R. Ward

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Form: Hardback Book
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a symphath, his identity is a deadly secret – the revelation of which could result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. As plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll on Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world – Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him – and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Source: Front flap of book

I finished this book probably 2 weeks ago…I’ve just been that behind!

Very exciting, action packed Brotherhood novel. I love Rehvenge for who he is. He is a deep dark protector. No matter of his sociopathic disability, he does everything he can to keep it and himself at bay, protect his family, his friends, his secret. It’s taking it’s toll on him. No matter – because it’s all getting ready to be revealed. Ehlena is the perfect female for Rehvenge. I was shocked at how romantic Rehv is. Which was a wonderful change from Z’s hard and powerful possessiveness, and V’s….well, “fun and games.” I think J.R. brought it out even further how different Rehv is when Ehlena showed up at V’s place instead of Rehv’s. Quite humorous in my opinion.

Ehlena was perfectly human, er well…normal. Her reactions to Rehv, especially when she finds out who he really is, was spot on. Hurt, betrayed…but then revelation. She figures it out all on her own. She’s a very strong female, able to take care of herself…but she’s very venerable at the same time. She needs the tenderness that Rehv provides.

Okay…more on the book itself. LOVE the subplots ones again, although they really weren’t that secondary. The story seems to align much more nicely in this book than in books past. In the past we had the main story, then we had some side things going on. This time we had a book. Wrath and Beth played a much larger role, which was just wonderful in my opinion. I was sort of missing them. I can just imagine how difficult it would be to incorporate every one in all the books – but usually, that is what I want. I liked seeing Butch a little more too. But most of all, I absolutely ADORE the continuation – and the beginning – of John Matthew and Xhex’s story.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say John Matthew is going to end up taking Zsadist’s position in my heart as my favorite brother. I think it has something to do with how incredibly well we know John Matthew. There really won’t be a need for too much of a back story on him, so I imagine we’ll be getting to know Xhex more in Lover Mine (perfect name…I soo can’t wait for this book!). We really get a nice start to their rocky relationship in Lover Avenged.

My one disappointment of the book? I was REALLY expecting Rehvenge started fighting with the Brotherhood. There is a much different alignment though – but I won’t ruin that for you.

In my opinion…while all these books are great, this is the absolute best Black Dagger Brotherhood book yet. My expectation is that Lover Mine is going to meet and exceed this. I *think* this series has 3 books left, including Lover Mine, and she’s definitely going to take it out with a bang.

I’m totally going to check out J.R. Ward’s new Fae series as well.

Kiss of Midnight – Lara Adrian

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian
Genre: Adult Paranormal
Form: Mass Paperback
Series: Midnight Breed

He watches her from across the crowded dance club, a sensual black-haired stranger who stirs Gabrielle Maxwell’s deepest fantasies. But nothing about this night – or this man – is what it seems. For when Gabrielle witnesses a murder outside the club, reality shifts into something dark and deadly. In that shattering instant she is thrust into a realm she never new existed-a realm where vampires stalk the shadows and a blood war is set to ignite. Lucan Thorne despises the violence carried out by his lawless brethren. A vampire himself, Lucan is a Breed warrior, sworn to protect his kind – and the unwitting humans existing alongside them – from the mounting threat of the Rogues. Lucan cannot risk binding himself to a mortal woman, but has no choice but to bring her into the dark underworld he commands. Here, in the arms of the Breed’s formidable leader, Gabrielle will confront an extraordinary destiny of danger, seduction, and the darkest pleasures of all….

Source: back of book
Another series. Or better yet, another vampire series. Maybe I’m obsessed, I don’t know. I think one of the things I like the best about all the different vampire series is all the different versions of vampires you come across.

This particular series is centered around warriors who are fighting against their own kind who are blood addicts, or have the disease “bloodlust,” which causes the vampire to crave the blood of humans just as much as a junkie craves his drugs. The warriors fight to keep the peace, and to keep their species from being detected to the human world. The Midnight Breed’s are a type of vampire who originated from an alien species who landed on earth and started running wild in their own bloodlust addiction. It wasn’t until later that they discovered that they were able to breed with certain women, a minority group known as Breedmates.

Character development was pretty good. I think what I liked most about Gabrielle was that when Lucan needed her the most, she was there for him. He wasn’t always the hero. In some, actually many, cases he was actually the bad guy. But he was very hard on himself for sins of the past, and Gabrielle was able to point that out to him. Gabrielle was a strong female. Not really a damsielle in distress, but she did find herself in trouble more than once. She actually was regularly walking into trouble and did not know it. She meets Lucan just in the nick of time.

I’m sort of hoping that Gabrielle’s special talent will play out a little bit more in upcoming books. It would be neat to see her used strategically in the Breed’s plans to overcome the growing, and organized Rogues.